What is the Myers-Briggs Personality Test and How Can It Help You?
Updated: Mar 14
Introduction to the Myers Briggs
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI is a personality that assesses different aspects of people’s personality and categorizes them into 16 personalities. The Myers-Briggs analyzes how one directs energy, takes in information, makes decisions, and approaches the outer world.
Brief History of the Myers Briggs
The name “Myers Briggs” comes from the last names of Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, but the core concepts are actually rooted in Carl Jung’s theory. These two women came across Jung’s Theory of Psychological Types and realized how similar their own ideas were to his. They saw the value of this information and wanted to make the theories accessible to more people. They developed the Myers Briggs personality test as a 3 step process that gives people a framework to understand themselves and others. The Myers Briggs can be useful in a variety of ways, but in general it can improve people’s self awareness as well as communication with others.
Myers Briggs for Enhanced Self-Awareness
By dividing people into 16 personalities, the Myers Briggs helps individuals foster a greater sense of self-awareness by giving them a framework to understand how their mind works. Individuals who understand which of the MBTI types fits them have a better understanding of how they think and why they respond to situations in the way they do. This lays a foundation to progress along the individual journey of personal development. Watts Humphrey said “If you don’t know where you are, a map won’t help.” The Myers Briggs explains where someone is now, and gives them a map to continue down the road to develop into the person they want to be.
Myers-Briggs for Improved Communication
With a total of 16 personalities, there is a lot of room for diversity among people. The Myers Briggs will not only help you understand yourself, but it can also help you to better understand the people around you. You might be similar to your friend in some ways, but vastly different in other ways. Maybe your co-worker’s way of communicating leads you to frustration and misunderstanding. Regardless of which of the 16 personalities suits you, the Myers-Briggs will give you a framework to understand why and how people have differences. Through the MBTI, you can understand other people’s style of communication. If you take the initiative to adapt to other’s needs, the Myers Briggs will not only improve your communication with others, thus improving your relationships overall. This applies to all kinds of relationships by helping you to understand and see the value of people who are different from you.
Myers Briggs Preferences Explained
The Myers Briggs is composed of 8 preferences, which are divided into 4 pairs. Each of the MBTI personality types has 4 preferences, one from each type. The preferences are abbreviated to result in a four letter type code, such as: INFJ, ENFP, ISFP, INTJ, INFP, etc. Each of the preference paris is listed below. Keep in mind that everyone has and uses all eight preferences, but the purpose is to identify which preference from each pair is the most natural for you.
E │ I
Extraversion and Introversion
Direction of energy
This pair identifies the way that you direct and receive energy most of the time. People who prefer Extraversion primarily use their energy outward, where people who prefer introversion primarily use their energy inward.
Assertive, Social, Outgoing
Large circle of friends
Communication through talking
Thinks while talking
Energized by interacting with people
Private, Intentional, Reflective
Small circle of close friends
Communication through writing
Thinks then talks
Energized by alone time
S │ N
Sensing and Intuition
Taking in information
Sensing and Intuition are two different ways to take in information. People who prefer Sensing tend to focus on facts and details that can be observed using the 5 senses, while people who prefer Intuition tend to rely on more theoretical information and focus on the big picture.
Realistic, Concrete, Literal
Practical, sees things as they are now
Enjoys facts and details
Focuses on past and present experiences
Idealistic, Abstract, Imaginative
Inventive, sees things as they could be
Enjoys ideas, theories, and brainstorming
Focuses on future possibilities
T │ F
Thinking and Feeling
Whereas the previous preference pair focuses on how you take in information, Thinking and Feeling are concerned with how you evaluate that information and come to a decision. People with a preference for Thinking prioritize objective logic, while people with a preference for Feeling prioritize people and values.
Critical, Objective, Rational
Makes decisions based on logic
Conflicts/debates can be productive
Personal, Empathetic, Caring
Makes decisions based on values
J │ P
Judging and Perceiving
Approach the outside world
The final preference pair can be thought of as how you approach the world around you. People with a preference for Judging tend to have a plan and stick to it, and people with a preference for Perceiving tend to keep their schedule more open and flexible.
Organized, Systematic, Structured
Views plans and structures as helpful
Decisive, Seeks closure
Makes decisions Early
Flexible, Spontaneous, Adaptable
View plans and structures as restrictive
Energized by last minute rush
Keep options open
The 16 Personalities of the Myers Briggs
Every person prefers one of the above functions over the other. After taking the Myers Briggs test, you will know which of the following 16 personalities best fits your personality type!
Do you want to learn more about your MBTI type? Schedule a free coaching session below to learn more about your personality!
#MBTI #MyersBriggs #PersonalityTest